The stringr package just turned 0.5

July 1, 2011
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(Re-posted from a post made by Hadley Wickham to the [R-pkgs] mailing list)

# About the stringr package

Strings are not glamorous, high-profile components of R, but they do play a big role in many data cleaning and preparations tasks. R provides a solid set of string operations, but because they have grown organically over time, they can be inconsistent and a little hard to learn. Additionally, they lag behind the string operations in other programming languages, so that some things that are easy to do in languages like Ruby or Python are rather hard to do in R. The
`stringr` package aims to remedy these problems by providing a clean, modern interface to common string operations.

More concretely, `stringr`:

  • Processes factors and characters in the same way.
  • Gives functions consistent names and arguments.
  • Simplifies string operations by eliminating options that you don’t need 95% of the time.
  • Produces outputs than can easily be used as inputs. This includes ensuring that missing inputs result in missing outputs, and zero length inputs result in zero length outputs.
  • Completes R’s string handling functions with useful functions from other programming languages.

stringr 0.5
===========

  • new `str_wrap` function which gives `strwrap` output in a more convenient format
  • new `word` function extract words from a string given user defined separator (thanks to suggestion by David Cooper)
  • `str_locate` now returns consistent type when matching empty string (thanks to Stavros Macrakis)
  • new `str_count` counts number of matches in a string.
  • `str_pad` and `str_trim` receive performance tweaks – for large vectors this should give at least a two order of magnitude speed up
  • str_length returns NA for invalid multibyte strings
  • fix small bug in internal `recyclable` function


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